Have you sent out what seems like hundreds of resumes and you are still waiting for your phone to start ringing or your email to start going crazy with responses?
Let me first tell you, you are not alone if you thought this was how things work for job seekers. I am going to shed some light on why you might not be getting the results you had hoped for and share the reality; not to discourage you about the process, but to give you tips that will hopefully make it easier for you.
1.If you are not tailoring/customizing your resume to the job descriptions when you apply, you may be getting kicked out by the company’s applicant tracking system before a human even sees it. It IS time consuming to do this, but think of it as quality over quantity. It is better use of your time to send out 5 well customized/tailored resumes than 20 general resumes, haphazardly. If you don’t have time to do this, don’t know how or don’t want to; hire it done and save yourself unnecessary stress. Be sure to follow all Applicant Tracking System instructions so you are not eliminated by overlooking a step in the application process.
2.It’s important to try to engage your network for referrals and/or locate a potential contact on LinkedIn or company website to send your resume to, rather than sending it blindly without a target contact. If you get a recommendation “foot in the door” from a network connection, you are far more likely to get an interview. Building and engaging with your network through your job search is paramount to your success.
3.Ask yourself “Am I REALLY qualified for this job?” If the answer is “not quite” or “of course I can do that, it can’t be that hard,” then you should be prepared to do a great job of selling yourself and be able to show how your skills are transferable to what they need. If you can’t do that, don’t waste your time or theirs. Of course there are those unrealistic job descriptions requesting everything, including the kitchen sink. Those are often thrown out there to just see if the perfect candidate can be found, knowing full well that they are being a bit unrealistic. So just be honest with yourself and respectful to them if you are truly a fit and not just desperate to submit a resume. If it’s a big stretch, or you can’t speak in detail about this experience in an interview, you probably should reconsider applying for that position.
4.Your resume must show how you are different and show how you stand out from every other candidate applying. It must be straightforward and easy to read with quick, concise bullets that showcase your accomplishments. It should be 2-3 pages maximum, anything past that will not be read.
5.If you have unexplained gaps in employment that can be red-flags for a potential employer, provide brief explanations within the resume or in your cover letter.
At the end of the day, a job search can become a part-time job in itself and it can be discouraging if you are aimlessly sending out resumes and expecting everyone to respond. You have to realize it is a numbers game and it does a committed effort on your part. Employers typically have many applicants to choose from and they will choose the best candidate that fits their description and need as closely as possible.
Make sure you sell them on how you are the perfect fit for them and the role they are looking to fill. You would do the same in their shoes.
If you need help getting your resume revised/reformatted/customized or need some coaching to help you step-by-step through your job search to get you better responses, I can help!
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Refer a friend to me to write their resume or for career coaching and you will receive a gift card of your choice as part of my new Gift Card Referral Program.